Cricket Australia's $6 million gamble on the new overseas player draft for the BBL has seemingly backfired after a host of 'platinum players' didn't get selected by the clubs on Sunday night.
Faf du Plessis, Jason Roy, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo were all ignored in the inaugural BBL draft due to their unavailability for the back end of the season.
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Cricket Australia's hopes that the biggest names in the world would be snapped up weren't realised, with BBL clubs prioritising players who will still be available for the finals.
The hope was that Du Plessis and co would bring flagging crowds flocking back to the BBL, but the South African star will be playing in a new T20 league in his home country during the BBL finals.
The likes of Roy, Pollard, Russell and Bravo would also only be available for three-quarters of the BBL after opting to play in a new T20 competition in the UAE this summer.
"Well you're looking for continuity through the season," former Test captain and Hobart's head of strategy Ricky Ponting said when asked about the tactics involved in selecting players.
"The challenge the BBL teams have faced the last few years has been the international players coming in and out.
"You get two or three games out of one, and then you have to try to fill that slot with someone of a similar role and ability, and that's pretty hard to do.
"And if these players are coming in and out, you've got to have money to fill their voids as well. When you're trying to balance the salary cap, it's not easy to do."
So BBL teams have really gone for need over pulling power - in some cases at least.
Probably to be expected considering they're there to win but not exactly what the draft was brought in for.
Either way I think we'll see some great international talent in BBL12
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) August 28, 2022
— Alex Fair (@AJFair85) August 28, 2022
OK so confirmed now, no Andre Russell in #bbl12. Not sure that was in CA's grand plan. Anyway, Jack Wildermuth is coming to a BBL ground near you.
— Daniel Cherny (@DanielCherny) August 28, 2022
It's totally understandable for the clubs to prioritise availability over starpower. They're trying to win.
But if the measure of success for the #BBL12Draft was adding overseas stars, it's been a huge fail.
— Justin Edwards (@JEdwardsFOX) August 28, 2022
Channel 7 have for their lawyers on the line, they are after Cricket Australia to pay them to cover this years BBL. The internationals are actually worse than last couple of years #bbl #BBL12Draft #BBLDraft #joke
— Leigh Jones (@leighjones0212) August 28, 2022
WTF. All did videos for BBL 😂😂. Shocking
— Tony Stark (@TonySta13327820) August 28, 2022
I don’t like it, I don’t think that will attract crowds at all.
— Cong Du Nguyen (@CongDuNguyen1) August 28, 2022
BBL teams prioritise availability over superstars
England's Liam Livingstone became the No.1 Platinum pick after being chosen by the Melbourne Renegades.
"It was a no-brainer for us," captain Aaron Finch said.
"What he offers with the bat is exceptional. And what he delivers in the field and with the ball, being able to bowl legspin and offspin, I think he's a beautiful fit for the Renegades."
The Melbourne Stars used their prized second pick to nominate Rashid Khan, but the Adelaide Strikers exercised their retention pick to keep the star Afghanistan spinner.
"I was thinking of Darryl Kerrigan, 'tell him he's dreaming'," Strikers coach Jason Gillespie joked in reference to the famous 1997 Australian movie The Castle.
"Our plan was always to retain Rashid. Wonderful player, wonderful person. He's been brilliant for our franchise over a number of years, and absolutely delighted to have him back."
The Stars instead selected New Zealand paceman Trent Boult, while the Brisbane Heat used pick No.3 to lure Englishman Sam Billings after the Sydney Thunder decided against using their retention pick.
Sydney Sixers coach Greg Shipperd selected Chris Jordan at pick No.4
"He's cool, calm and collected in the big moments," Shipperd told Fox Sports.
"We're chasing high-end pace and a death bowler, so he fitted the bill perfectly for us."
The Perth Scorchers pulled off a big shock when they passed on their No.6 pick in the Platinum round.
The Scorchers eventually used their retention pick to keep Laurie Evans in the second round, while they snared Phil Salt in the third round and left-arm paceman Tymal Mills in the fourth round.
"Availability is a real key for us," Adam Voges said of the decision to pass on the Platinum round.
"We love guys coming back who have played for us before, and fit into our group really well."
Each player selected in the platinum category earns $340,000, while players picked up in the gold ($260,000), silver ($175,000) and bronze ($100,000) rounds also earn handy paydays.
PLATINUM ROUND PICKS
1 - Melbourne Renegades - Liam Livingstone (England)
2 - Melbourne Stars - Trent Boult (New Zealand)
3 - Brisbane Heat - Sam Billings (England)
4 - Sydney Sixers - Chris Jordan (England)
5 - Adelaide Strikers - Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) retention pick
6 - Perth Scorchers - Passed
7 - Sydney Thunder - David Willey (England)
8 - Hobart Hurricanes - Shadab Khan (Pakistan)
ROUND 2 (PLATINUM and GOLD)
9 - Melbourne Renegades - Mujeeb Ur Rahman
10 - Melbourne Stars - Joe Clarke
11 - Brisbane Heat - Colin Munro
12 - Perth Scorchers - Laurie Evans (retention pick)
13 - Sydney Sixers — James Vince
14 - Adelaide Strikers - Colin de Grandhomme
15 - Sydney Thunder - Alex Hales
16 - Hobart Hurricanes - Asif Ali
ROUND 3 (GOLD and SILVER)
17 - Hobart Hurricanes - Faheem Ashraf
18 - Sydney Thunder - Rilee Rossouw
19 - Perth Scorchers - Phil Salt
20 - Adelaide Strikers - Adam Hose
21 - Sydney Sixers - Pass
22 - Brisbane Heat - Pass
23 - Melbourne Stars - Luke Wood
24 - Melbourne Renegades - Pass
ROUND 4 (SILVER AND BRONZE)
25 - Melbourne Renegades - Akeal Hosein
26 - Melbourne Stars - Pass
27 - Brisbane Heat - Ross Whiteley
28 - Sydney Sixers - Izharulhaq Naveed
29 - Adelaide Strikers - Pass
30 - Perth Scorchers - Tymal Mills
31 - Sydney Thunder - Pass
32 - Hobart Hurricanes - Pass
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